Author Archives: Nathan Tieppo

So You Wanna Lifts Some Weights?

It’s a story I have heard a hundred times: “I want to get in shape so I’ll join a gym and start lifting some weights”. Well that’s fantastic but why are you lifting weights? It’s all well and good to get into the gym, but did you know that the number of sets, repetitions and type of exercise you do will alter the results you are going to get?

While there are many different variations on the type of resistance training you can do, we are just going to focus on four of them: strength, hypertrophy, power, and strength endurance. This article is only a generic guide and there will be some variations needed for more advanced trainers, but have a look at these guidelines to help get you on your way.

Strength Training involves lifting very heavy weights for only a few repetitions, usually around five. This will require you to produce a maximal amount of force for a minimal period of time. This is very effective for increasing pure strength, but does not necessarily produce the best results for increasing muscle size. Try and keep your set numbers to four to maximise your strength gains.

Hypertrophy training is focused on increasing the size of your muscles. The recommended repetition amount is 10. This rep range provides your muscles with the optimal time under tension required to damage your muscle fibres, allowing them to repair bigger and stronger. Exercises can be performed in sets of three to give you the best muscle growth and development. 

Power training should only be considered by people who have a solid history of regular resistance training. The explosive movements required to train in this manner place a high stress on your body and can be potentially dangerous if your body is not ready for it, or if it is done incorrectly. It is a great form of training to improve your speed and explosiveness. The ideal repetition number for power training is six reps per set, and again three sets per exercise.

Strength Endurance is a lower intensity form of resistance training and can be used to serve as an introduction to resistance training or even a form of cross-training to get your heart pounding in a circuit. Repetition range for strength endurance training is generally 15 reps and above, obviously using a lighter load. Getting through four or more sets of this should be your aim.

So, based on your goals, find which form of resistance training is going to be best suited to you, and start getting the results you really want. 

Want To Improve You Distance Running? Then Stop Running and Start Lifting!

As crazy as this may actually sound, strength training could be the key to shaving minutes off your marathon time. One of the most neglected areas of fitness for weekend warrior distance runners is strength. Many believe that lifting weights will get them bulkier, add body weight and make running over long distances more difficult. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Before we get stuck into how strength training can help you, let’s clear the air a little. There are a few reasons why strength training won’t add a heap of unwanted body mass. Your muscle fibre type: generally speaking those of us who are capable of running long distances are likely to genetically have a larger portion of type I or slow-twitch muscle fibres. These fibres are likely to experience lower relative hypertrophy (or increase in size), compared to type II or fast-twitch muscle fibres.

Next there is the issue of concurrent training. Studies have shown that endurance training can inhibit the results of a strength training program when compared to strength training alone. So this will also reduce any increases in bulk you may have experienced since the vast majority of your training will have an endurance focus.

And lastly, if not most importantly, how you plan your sessions will influence the results that you achieve. The weight you lift, the sets, repetitions and tempo you use are also elements you can manipulate to focus on different aspects of training and attain a different set of results.

Okay, now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s get stick into the nitty gritty. How will strength training improve your running?

Numerous studies have shown that following a strength training program can result in an increase in your running economy. One study on female distance runners found a decrease in oxygen consumption and a lower sub-maximal heart rate; this means that as you improve your strength, you will find that running the same distances and speed results in a lower oxygen and energy demands on your body, allowing you to run further and faster.

A full body resistance program will also assist in the development of core body strength. Poor core strength has been shown to be an indicator for your risk of injury. So improving your strength will not only get you running further and faster but also play a big role in injury prevention. So what are you waiting for? Get into the gym today!

Need help with a resistance program specifically designed to help endurance athletes? Our endurance specialist trainer, Jaimie-Lee Brown, offers two streams of training that might suit you well.

In or around South Melbourne?

Head into our Performance Training studio to join our Hybrid Performance training sessions with Jaimie. You can find all of the details here.

Not in South Melbourne?

We now offer personalised online programming, designed specifically to suit your needs, to be done at a time and place that suits your needs. Find all of the details for our online programming and coaching with Jaimie here.

Either way we can provide the solution to get you to where you need to be.

Reach out if we can help or if you have any questions.

We would love to hear from you.

Johnston, R.E., T.J. Quinn, R. Kertzer, and N.B. Vroman. Strength training in female distance runners: Impact on running economy. J, Strength and Cond. Res. 11(4): 224 – 229. 1997.
Leetun, D.T., M.L. Ireland, J.D. Wilson, B.T. Ballantyne, and I.M. Davis. Core stability measures as risk factors for lower extremity injury in athletes. Medicine & Sciences in Sports & Exercise, 36(6): 926 – 934. 2004
Leveritt M., P.J. Abernethy, B.K. Barry, P.A. Logan, Concurrent Strength and Endurance Training: A Review. Sports Medicine 28(6): 413 – 427. 1999.

Man Up Monday – Kettlebell ‘300’

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, hope you had a big rest over the weekend because todays workout of the day is a pretty tough one. We will be doing a Kettlebell 300 workout. Make sure through all reps of each exercise before moving onto the next exercise. 

50 x Kettlebell Double Bell Swing (Start standing upright, holding one kettlebell in each hand, pull your hips back and then thrust them forward, use the momentum from your hips to raise the kettlebells up to shoulder height) See Picture

50 x Kettlebell Squat Press (Hold kettlebell in one hand in front of your chest, squat and as you come up press the kettlebell above your head. 25 each side)

50 x Renegade Row (Assume a push up position with your hand on the kettlebell handles. Do a push up, then on at a time pull the kettlebells up to touch your hip. 25 each side)

50 x Kettlebell Clean (Standing upright, hold the kettlebell in one hand. Pull your hips back and as you thrust forward bring the kettlebell up to your chest. 25 each side)

50 x Kettlebell Snatch (Standing upright, hold the kettlebell in one hand. Pull your hips back and as you thrust forward bring the kettlebell up to above your head. 25 each side)

50 x Bear Crawl (Assume a push up position with your hand on the kettlebell handles. Keeping your legs straight, crawl forward with the kettlebells on hand. 25 each side)

Got through the workout as quickly as possible and post your tim to the comments below.

Good Luck!

And a big congratulations to everyone who took part in Tough Mudder over the weekend. It was a massive effort…But that doesn’t earn you a day off. So get stuck into todays workout.

Man Up Monday – Bodyweight ‘300’ workout

For this weeks Man Up Monday workout of the day we are going to be doing our version of the 300 workout using only your bodyweight. Go through this work out completing all reps of each exercise before moving onto the next exercise.

50 x Push Ups (hands at shoulder width lower body to ground and push back up)

50 x Sumo Squats (feet out in a wide stance, squat down making sure knees track over your toes)

25 x Pull Ups (pull your body weight up to an overhead bar, make sure you get your chin above the bar)

50 x Lunges (start with feet together, step out drop back knee to ground and push back till feet are together again. Repeat on other side. 25 reps each side)

25 x Dips (using parallel bars or rings, with feet off ground and arms extended lower body towards ground and push back up)

25 x Burpees (start in push up position, jump feet up to between hands, then jump in the air, place hands on the ground and jump feet out back into the push up position)

50 x Grasshoppers (start in the push up position, remove left hand from the ground and rotate shoulder to a vertical position. Extend right leg underneath body. Repeat other side. 25 reps each side)

25 x ‘V’ Sit (lay fat on your back with hands behind your head raise arms and legs at the same time and reach towards your toes)

Good luck and be sure to post your time in the comments below.

Man Up Monday – Making Waves

Good Morning, I hope you had a fantastic weekend, but all the fun and games from the weekend are gone and its time to get stuck into todays Man Up Monday workout of the day.

For today’s session you will need to get hold of some battling ropes.

The workout will be 

100 Rope Waves

20 Chin Ups

100 Rope Waves

20 Squats

100 Rope Waves

20 Push Ups

Repeat these exercises reducing the number of repetitions each time, so next is 80/16, 60/12, 40/8, 20/4.

Have fun.

Post your finishing time below

Lift Your Game With Some Cross Training

cross trainingTraining for an event or challenge can be great to give you a goal to aim at and strive for, but keeping focused on that can at times become pretty monotonous and continually using the same muscle groups can in time lead to over-use injuries.

A great way to help avoid these situations is to add some cross-training into your regular training program. Cross-training can broadly be defined as training in a sport or activity outside of your competition sport or goal. There are numerous ways in which you can implement forms of cross-training to a program and the best method will depend on your goals and ability.

A great place to start is just using it as an alternative session. If you are a runner a great activity to add in would be boxing training because in terms of your lower body it is a low impact activity which allows your legs to rest while still getting a great cardiovascular workout. Some circuit training can also be beneficial to get some strength endurance improvements, as increasing overall strength, in particular lower body strength, can be beneficial to performance for sports like running and cycling.

Another way you could implement some cross-training is as an add-on to a specific training session. Again, using running as the example, if you are trying to increase your running distance, rather than just increasing distances for every training session, a great way to ease in to it is to run your regular distance and then get onto a spin bike and continue your training there. This will enable you to maintain the cardiovascular demands of the added workload without adding the extra impact load to your body.

It may seem like an obvious one but cross-training is perfect for when you may be recovering from an injury. Cross-training can encompass pretty much any activity, so there is always going to be some kind of modified activity you can perform while injured that will be safe for your injury. While the main goal may not be to increase overall fitness, cross-training can help to minimise the decline in your current fitness levels. Doing this can help you to return to your sport faster and in better condition than if you do nothing.

A few things to also consider before you jump straight into adding cross-training into your program include: training specificity; the most efficient form of training for competition will always be the most specific means, cross-training is a great way to add variety and prevent over-use injuries but should not be used as the main form of training. Boxing for 4 hours doesn’t mean you can run a marathon! Training intensity; the most effective forms of cross-training will be those that can mimic the demands of your chosen activity. For cardiovascular activities a great way to measure this is by monitoring your heart rate. Try and get your heart rate to match and even exceed that of what you may maintain during your regular activity to get the most benefit.

Do you already cross train? Let us know your favourite way to do it.

Image Source